PlayStation VR: Waste Of Money Or Future Of Gaming?

It’s probably the ultimate question for gamers. Should I, or shouldn’t I, buy a VR headset? There are loads of options out there, from the pricey Rift to the more affordable Samsung Gear (plus handset, of course). But, slap bang in the middle of the road is PlayStation VR. It isn’t cheap, but it’s certainly cheaper than some options. It also provides a decent VR experience for the money, too. But is it a sound investment?

I wouldn’t say that I’m skeptical about VR. But, at the same time, I don’t think that it’ll revolutionise gaming. At least I can’t see VR becoming the norm, not for a good few years. But I’m always a little skeptical of different takes on how we play video games. Mainly because, over the past few decades, the classic console / PC option has always come out strongest. That being said, some serious companies are investing some serious cash into the tech. So I’m not completely writing it off.

I recently had the pleasure of playing PlayStation VR. Alex purchased the headset, and he’s currently singing its praises. I, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as enamored. He was kind enough to invite me over to give it a go. Granted, I only played it for a couple of hours. But in that time, I saw enough to know it wasn’t for me. Despite one or two of the games making me feel a little nauseated, I did enjoy the experience. But, overall, it felt novel rather than ‘game changing’.

Me with a lot of PlayStation VR on my face

Me with a lot of PlayStation VR on my face

I didn’t go home with that ‘I must buy this now’ feeling. I went home happy, after a great evening of gaming – but it wasn’t enough to convince me that PlayStation VR is worth purchasing. Sure, the games were fun. Sure, the tech was impressive. But I couldn’t see myself sitting and playing it regularly. Plus, quite a few of the demos and games I got to play, whilst fun, didn’t necessarily NEED VR.

Take RIGS for example. It’s a good game, and it’s great with VR. But it doesn’t NEED VR – you could easily play that game on a controller (and for much of it, you do). The VR element feels a little novel. But, without it, RIGS would be a pretty average game. There was another fun game called Headmaster. It was enjoyable. But I’ve played an incredibly similar mini-game in Kinect. With the same mechanics, minus the VR. Does the VR make it? Yes. But is it a good enough game to warrant me paying £450(ish) to play it? No. I mean, were I a rich man I’d definitely buy it, and I’d certainly enjoy playing it. For however long that may last. But, as a man with responsibilities and a lack of cash to flash, I couldn’t warrant the expenditure.

But, in fairness, this is very early days for PlayStation VR. It’s currently at a very important stage. It has enough decent games to convince the more committed gamers to purchase it. But it doesn’t have enough to warrant those on the fence giving it a punt. It needs some better titles, and it needs them fast. That’s what will make or break the headset.

Really, that’s been the issue with many of these types of experiences. The Kinect failed because of it. As did the EyeToy. The WiiU didn’t do overly well, either. The only real success story is the Wii – but I’d probably argue that the majority of people who purchased the console, only play it occasionally.

I don’t think that PlayStation VR will be the future for Sony. But I also don’t think that it’ll be a failure. Calling it a waste of money, this early on, would be unfair. But in a year’s time, if it still doesn’t have some decent games available, I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting one.

  • Fear Monkey

    I have played the games you mentioned and they aren’t the best VR games. What sold me was when I demoed Batman VR at a local Best Buy before launch. It blew me away and I bought one.

    The games to play are Batman VR, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Playroom VR’s Robot Rescue, Super Stardust Ultra’s main game and VR level, Tumble Vr, Battlezone, Super Hypercube, and Thumper.

    The Demos that come on the demo disc to try is Kitchen, Eve, Driveclub, Wayward Sky, the ocean descent demo for VR worlds, and Allumette

    For Free stuff, Try The World War Toons game, its alot of fun though it keeps disconnecting me.

    I didnt find headmaster or Rigs Particularly great.

    • Thanks for this – wish I had these recommendations before I played to be honest!

      I was interested by Batman, and a few of those games I wanted to play, but didn’t get the chance. I did play Driveclub and I loved it, right up until I was in first place. Chasing the pack was great fun, but as soon as I was out in front I felt incredibly ill. Like, about to chunder ill. But I was really impressed with the ‘cockpit’ view.

      Out of interest, would you say that you’re glad you spent the money on the PlayStation VR?

      • Fear Monkey

        Absolutely, I have been addicted to it 🙂 excited for all the new games coming out.

        • What’s your favourite game at the moment? And any particular games you’re looking forward to?

          • Fear Monkey

            Robinson looks really good, really looking forward to that 🙂 Also excited for the Star Trek game, Resdient Evil 7, and the Apollo 11 expeiernce to name a few. Really wish their was a good platformer like Robot Rescue out but there isnt.

            I just picked up Rigs because Target had a buy 2 get one free and its better than the demo which i didnt eally get into. It has some cool effects and 3D atmosphere, time will tell on how much i enjoy it but its better than I expected. Also picked up loading human, not a fan of its controlls but i like slower exploration games so Ill probably enjoy it. Would love a game like Gone Home, Everones gone to the rapture in VR.

            My favorite games are Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Battlezone, and Tumbler. I love Batman VR, and The London Heist but those are more like mini experiences than full games. Super Stardust is fun in VR but its enahnced by it rather than really being a VR game. I want to buy carnival games, Wayward Sky, and Thumper (just played though the demo, which is great)

          • Not heard of Robinson, what’s that about? Apollo 11 Experience sounds awesome – I do love space games.

            I loved Rapture on console – was really good. I could definitely see that working in VR, for sure.

            Thanks for sharing – I’ll feed this back to Alex to see if there are any games that might tempt him (Reckon he’ll like Until Dawn).

            I played Kitchen at EGX a year or so ago, which is Resident Evil 7, right? It was pretty terrifying – it was also one of my first VR experiences.

          • Fear Monkey

            Robinson’s made by Crytek, its a stranded on a strange planet adventure with the cryengine graphics, im hoping it will be a great game. it kind of looks like the first real AAA full game, hoping the titles length is better than the other AAA releases thus far. So far that is my biggest complaint, most Story based VR games dont have the length it should yet.

            There are a ton of titles coming, looks to be no shortage of VR for the first year. I just hope that the tech has legs and continues to sell well. It’s a technology you have to try to understand how good it can be, and even then it has to be good titles and hope that the person isnt prone to VR sickness.

  • Fear Monkey

    I have played the games you mentioned and they aren’t the best VR games. What sold me was when I demoed Batman VR at a local Best Buy before launch. It blew me away and I bought one.

    The games to play are Batman VR, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Playroom VR’s Robot Rescue, Super Stardust Ultra’s main game and VR level, Tumble Vr, Battlezone, Super Hypercube, and Thumper.

    The Demos that come on the demo disc to try is Kitchen, Eve, Driveclub, Wayward Sky, the ocean descent demo for VR worlds, and Allumette

    For Free stuff, Try The World War Toons game, its alot of fun though it keeps disconnecting me.

    I didnt find headmaster or Rigs Particularly great.

    • Thanks for this – wish I had these recommendations before I played to be honest!

      I was interested by Batman, and a few of those games I wanted to play, but didn’t get the chance. I did play Driveclub and I loved it, right up until I was in first place. Chasing the pack was great fun, but as soon as I was out in front I felt incredibly ill. Like, about to chunder ill. But I was really impressed with the ‘cockpit’ view.

      Out of interest, would you say that you’re glad you spent the money on the PlayStation VR?

      • Fear Monkey

        Absolutely, I have been addicted to it 🙂 excited for all the new games coming out.

        • What’s your favourite game at the moment? And any particular games you’re looking forward to?

          • Fear Monkey

            Robinson looks really good, really looking forward to that 🙂 Also excited for the Star Trek game, Resdient Evil 7, and the Apollo 11 expeiernce to name a few. Really wish their was a good platformer like Robot Rescue out but there isnt.

            I just picked up Rigs because Target had a buy 2 get one free and its better than the demo which i didnt eally get into. It has some cool effects and 3D atmosphere, time will tell on how much i enjoy it but its better than I expected. Also picked up loading human, not a fan of its controlls but i like slower exploration games so Ill probably enjoy it. Would love a game like Gone Home, Everones gone to the rapture in VR.

            My favorite games are Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Battlezone, and Tumbler. I love Batman VR, and The London Heist but those are more like mini experiences than full games. Super Stardust is fun in VR but its enahnced by it rather than really being a VR game. I want to buy carnival games, Wayward Sky, and Thumper (just played though the demo, which is great)

          • Not heard of Robinson, what’s that about? Apollo 11 Experience sounds awesome – I do love space games.

            I loved Rapture on console – was really good. I could definitely see that working in VR, for sure.

            Thanks for sharing – I’ll feed this back to Alex to see if there are any games that might tempt him (Reckon he’ll like Until Dawn).

            I played Kitchen at EGX a year or so ago, which is Resident Evil 7, right? It was pretty terrifying – it was also one of my first VR experiences.

          • Fear Monkey

            Robinson’s made by Crytek, its a stranded on a strange planet adventure with the cryengine graphics, im hoping it will be a great game. it kind of looks like the first real AAA full game, hoping the titles length is better than the other AAA releases thus far. So far that is my biggest complaint, most Story based VR games dont have the length it should yet.

            There are a ton of titles coming, looks to be no shortage of VR for the first year. I just hope that the tech has legs and continues to sell well. It’s a technology you have to try to understand how good it can be, and even then it has to be good titles and hope that the person isnt prone to VR sickness.

  • Ucouldntbemorewrong

    It’s not going to replace gaming as we know it but it will be more like: Console, Portable, Mobile, and a new category “VR”.

    • I’ve always been a little skeptical of VR, and whether it’s a fad like motion controllers. I think it’ll be a good few years until we get the big revolution in gaming, that changes the face of how we play. I think it’ll be AR that does it, but advanced AR – like the holodeck from Star Trek, not necessarily HoloLens.

  • Ucouldntbemorewrong

    It’s not going to replace gaming as we know it but it will be more like: Console, Portable, Mobile, and a new category “VR”.

    • I’ve always been a little skeptical of VR, and whether it’s a fad like motion controllers. I think it’ll be a good few years until we get the big revolution in gaming, that changes the face of how we play. I think it’ll be AR that does it, but advanced AR – like the holodeck from Star Trek, not necessarily HoloLens.

  • H0NEYL00PS

    I really want to play some of the horror VR games I’ve seen in viral videos! They look awesome. Though, I’m a wimp when it comes to frights… so I’ll 100% be screaming when I do.

    • I’ve played The Kitchen at EGX and it was terrifying. I also just watched the second episode of the third series of Black Mirror – it’s terrifying.

  • H0NEYL00PS

    I really want to play some of the horror VR games I’ve seen in viral videos! They look awesome. Though, I’m a wimp when it comes to frights… so I’ll 100% be screaming when I do.

    • I’ve played The Kitchen at EGX and it was terrifying. I also just watched the second episode of the third series of Black Mirror – it’s terrifying.